Thermal energy storage refers to a technology that stocks thermal energy, by heating or cooling a storage medium, which can be used for power generation or heating and cooling applications. This system helps in balancing energy demand and supply on a seasonal, weekly, or daily basis. Such storage systems can also reduce energy consumption, costs and emissions, peak demand while increasing overall system efficiency. The conversion and storage of wind and solar energy aids in increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix.
Owing to the various advantages of thermal energy storage systems, they are being increasingly adopted in green buildings or environment-friendly buildings. With the surging environmental concerns and rising focus on reducing carbon footprint, green buildings are being constructed at an exponential rate. Due to this reason, the thermal energy storage market will advance at a CAGR of 15.9% during 2018–2023. The market was valued at $3,000.9 million in 2017 and it is projected to reach $7,472.9 million revenue by 2023.
In recent years, underground thermal energy storage (UTES) technology has gained traction, especially in North America and Europe, due to the strong presence of salt caverns and aquifers in these regions. This new technology is largely used for underground power generation and energy storage purposes. Thus, the development of this technology will create ample opportunities for companies such as Abengoa Solar S.A., Caldwell Energy Company, Dunham-Bush Holding Bhd., Baltimore Aircoil Company, CRISTOPIA Energy Systems, BrightSource Energy Inc., DC PRO Engineering, CALMAC, Cryogel, and SolarReserve LLC.
According to P&S Intelligence, North America dominated the thermal energy storage market in the recent past, due to the extensive installation of CSP plants in the U.S. Additionally, the burgeoning demand for power backup for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the countries of North America will also lead to the large-scale installation of such systems. Apart from the CSP storage technology, the region also uses pumped heat electrical storage (PHES), ice thermal energy storage, and chilled water thermal energy storage systems.
Whereas, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is expected to install thermal energy storage systems at the highest rate in the coming years. This can be attributed to the mounting energy demand, primarily on account of the surging population in the region. Moreover, the increasing adoption of this storage technology can also be credited to the rapid depletion of oil and natural gas reserves in the region. As energy storage is the most overlooked aspect of renewable energy generation, governments of countries such as India and China are emphasizing on solutions and technologies that help in storing the power generated from non-conventional energy sources.
Thus, the booming electricity demand and rising preference for green buildings will augment the need for thermal energy storage systems in the coming years.